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Feature: WhoMadeWho [Interview + Premiere]

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Hello Guys, thanks for joining us! your much anticipated sixth studio album ‘Through The Walls’  is getting closer, it’s got that amazing blend of electronic pop / funk that you’re so loved for but there are also moments of deep, meditative bliss with tracks like ‘Purple’, ‘Belong’ and ‘Surfing On A Stone’ which we absolutely love. How do you end up with the final selection and how do you go about cutting stuff out? There must be honeymoon period with almost everything you write?

TOMAS HØFFDING: in the moment of creation there is always a state of megalomania…there has to be, otherwise you cannot do it… I mean, you are up against the goods of songwriting and producing every time you make a new track. if you put things too much in to perspective at this moment, you lose all your mojo.

later, after you have written and produced the track, you step down from the pedestal, and you look at what you created. And then you go really hard on yourselves, the honeymoon is definitely over. its important as a artist to be in love with yourselves and your music in the moment of creation, but equally important to be able to fall out of love immediately after, to be able to look at it objectively at what you have done, and make the right choices….which, in most cases is: kill your darling. it takes a lot of bad tunes to make one good one.

The first two singles from the album ‘I Don’t Know’ and ‘Dynasty’ have been received incredibly well received and stylistically they’re quite different which is really nice. Is there a sound you tend to gravitate towards when writing? And do you all have different roles in the production process?

TOMAS BARFOD; in general, we have a hard time ‘controlling’ our sound, and even though we might start out a studio session by thinking ‘we wanna go this direction’ we often end up in the complete other corner. I think dynasty and I don’t know are great examples of how random we act in the studio, we simply make a lot of music and sometimes we hit something really good.

The best control we have over the process is actually exclusion, for this album we made around 100 demos, Dynasty was demo no 20 and I don’t know was demo no. 50, so it took 30 songs before we hit another single. In terms of production, we have roles, In general I’m they main producer and the guys are the ‘musical’ guys, strong on harmonies and toplines, but that doesn’t mean that it’s always like this, both Jeppe and Høffding ended up being the sole producer of a few album songs, and I have ‘written’ (meaning being lucky with hitting random notes on the keyboard) some of our instrumentals, Dynasty actually being one of them

I’ve got to assume crafting an electronic pop hit like ‘Dynasty’ is a bit more challenging but given your history I can’t imagine you place too much pressure on yourselves to do that?

TH: we always say: fuck it, we don’t wanna go for making a radio single, let’s just make music…and at some point, either me or Jeppe make a good pophook, and we become like dogs chasing a bone…. we can’t help it. when a song suddenly turns pop, it feels contra intuitive to not follow that lead.

You guys have been together now for over a decade, recorded multiple albums and played countless shows and yet the music is fresher than ever on ‘Through The Walls’. How have you managed to continue on such a positive path as a lot of bands tend to fizzle out or eventually disband over creative differences.

TB: First of all we always try to hack the process, we always set new goals and try to do things differently, both in terms of touring and our releases, the fact that we always see our career like something that shouldn’t just be a repetition of what we have done earlier has helped us a lot. One example of a defining moment was after The Plot (our second album), where everybody was expecting a pop leaning electro disco album, and we chose to move to legendary techno label Kompakt and do a more dark, techno- and electronica inspired mini album instead (Knee Deep). I think this mindset, that there always is something new to discover, new territories to be won, has kept our spirit high and friendship very tight.

You seem to have found a comfortable home on Embassy Of Music, what is it that so great about working with them?

TH: it a big, solid, German label. efficient and strong…that’s a good feeling:) but honestly, ask us again in a year or two…then we can answer this much better…. things are only just getting started. right now it looks and feels really good…but as we say in Denmark, right now it’s just birds on the roof.

You’ve got an excellent mix series on Soundcloud called ‘WhoMadeWho Worldwide’. How does Djing affect your song writing?

TB: in general we have a long and loving relationship with the club scene, being remixed by the coolest djs or releasing on the best possible underground labels. Even though we are ‘classic’ band constellation we work more as an electronic producer in the studio, this also means working with or being inspired by the whole scene.

TH: sometimes we write for the listener and the sofa…sometimes we write for the floor. when you make a track, it always feels like a conversation….and you have to picture for yourselves the people you are talking to…and if you picture them out of their minds going crazy on a dancefloor at 4 am, obviously you talk to them in a different way than if you are trying to reach the one in the sofa. we like to do both.

How does living in Copenhagen affect the music you make? or does it at all?

TB: Basically not at all, we are closer connected to the central european, scene, if there is such thing. We have released on German labels from the beginning and our main markets are france and germany.

We premiered the excellent Denis Horvat remix of ‘Dynasty’ which is currently a weapon of choice for many top DJs, what other remixes can we look forward to from the album?

TB: Yeah we have one huge one coming, we can’t really say more right other than the remix is danish and an awesome producer.

How do you feel about your work being remixed in general? as many have gone on to massive underground success.

TH: of course we love being remixed…. who wouldn’t? it’s a great opportunity to get a second opinion on how your song should have been:) and is not seldom that we start playing the remix live instead of the album version.

You’ve done some massive tours with Hot Chip, LCD Soundsystem and Erol Alkan to name a few, looking back at life on road what stands out? Is there a moment or show which holds a special place in your heart? Or a moment of weirdness or insanity? 🙂

TB: Luckily there are many of those, and they keep on coming. One clear stand out was first time we played in Mexico, we didn’t have a local label and in general wasn’t really in touch with what was going on in that part of the world, so we didn’t expect too much from it. First show was in Guadalajara and was packed but not huge venue, but we were thinking – how is this possible. Then next gig was in Mexico City at the big festival Corana Capital and we had an afternoon slot at one of the bigger stages, but already during the line-check there was huge crowd screaming even though we were just doing typical soundcheck stuff like talking to the sound engineer or hitting drums randomly. When we started the show we had 10-20.000 in the tent, many of the clearly being fans and in the end the tent was one big wave of people jumping. It was insane and I actually get goosebumps by just writing this. Since the we have been in love with the country and can’t wait to go there again.

WhoMadeWho’s new single ‘Dynasty’ is already out, the remix package feat. Denis Horvat, Roosevelt and Jimi Jules will be released on November 17th, 2017 on the German label ‘Embassy Of Music’

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